The Bone (video edition) – English version

Extract of VR experience
8:13 min
stereo sound
English language

The Bone is an interactive experience in virtual reality inside the skull of a wild salmon, where certain elements and narrations are to be discovered. Profoundly inspired by Dr. Martin Lee Mueller’s book Being Salmon, Being Human, these narrations address ethical and ecological issues related to salmon farming, domestication and coexistence with this species, from a non-anthropocentric, eco-philosophical and indigenous perspective.

Located inside an intermediate world — between deep sea and universe; between present, future or past; between reality, dream or utopia — this skull is a sculptural/architectural construction. The experiencer discovers two otoliths that grow interactively, revealing details about this salmon’s life in the past, as well as reflections towards its cousins: the captive salmons. These reflections are presented as a voice-over from the wild salmon’s perspective; the owner of the skull, in a way of poetic flow of consciousness. The real and virtual space is welcomed by a Yoik sung by Sámi artist Ánde Somby, providing a unique echo and spatiality to this VR, which is physically installed inside an old fishing boat. The materiality of the real old wood sensually echoes the virtual skull, inviting the experiencers to a journey that departs from their position as fisher species, towards the poiesis of the fish’ life.

The Bone 2.0 is funded by Fondos Cultura Convocatoria 2020 – Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Chile.

Norwegian, Sámi and German versions are currently in consideration.

This artwork has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial, co-produced by Art Republic, OCEANS21 and Interactive Media Foundation; co-created with Artificial Rome.

Idea and concept: Michelle-Marie Letelier
Production: Art Republic, OCEANS21 and Interactive Media Foundation
Executive producers: Diana Schniedermeier & Daniela Arriado
Creative directors: Ina Krüger & Dirk Hoffmann
Script: Martin Lee Mueller
Script editing: Michelle-Marie Letelier
Art direction VR: Robert Werner
3D Artist: Christian Rambow
Technical lead: Torsten Sperling
Programming: Dennis Timmermann
Sound design: Christian Barth & Julian Ferreira da Silva
Salmon’s voice: Martin Lee Mueller
Yoik singer: Ánde Somby
Skull: UiB – University of Bergen Natural History Museum
3D scanning: Fredrik M. Salhus, Faculty of Art, Music and Design, UiB; courtesy of Lars Ove Toft, Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts
Scientific advice: Anne Karin Hufthammer, Arild Folkvord, Karin Limburg, Karin Pittman & Johnny Magnussen
Research advice: Prof. Harald Gaski, Ánde Somby, Sápmi Center for Contemporary Art, Karolin Tampere & Daniela Arriado
Project Manager 2019: Florian Köhler

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